BlazBlue sucks, last time I checked, but in my teenagerdom BlazBlue and its characters were fucking iconic.
Okay, the game is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Even its most generic stages and anime-hero characters have so much polish. And the game might even be good mechanically, but good luck getting me good at any fighting game.
(Now, I know what you’re thinking: “How can you say BlazBlue sucks when you’re admittedly trash at fighting games?” I can say that because we live in a world where Guilty Gear exists, ya goof! Isn’t that just BlazBlue but less aesthetically edgy-tryhard?)
I’m happy as long as I can spam the circle button plus a fiddly on the C-stick and hammer out a quick win against friends around my skill level.
The eternal beginner has more options with Platinum. Whether by clobbering the opponent head-on, leaping straight ahead to start clobbering the opponent head-on, or jumping a little only to come back down and start clobbering the opponent head-on, this twinkly magical warrior can beat anything! Except for any of Hazama’s projectile chains, or any sort of diagonal or projectile move, or leaping backward, or guarding, or…
Oh, what a cute design.
Maybe it’s nothing too unique. And yet, when the face of the game is crisp edgy dudes and dudettes, the catgirls, ogres, robots, slime monsters, and magical-girl expats shine as my inevitable favorites.
I really like this kid’s color scheme and the twinkly saccharine hearts in their eyes. The walloping intensity of all their adorable attacks really charms me for some reason. I don’t give a hoot about Rachel Alucard and her quirky goth ooh-I’m-sitting-on-a-cat-head thing, but this? Now we’re going places.
Why This Trinity Stinks
It stinks for the same reason all BlazBlue characters stink: the series’ writing is peak marketable franchise anime, meaning it’s convoluted and filled with “service, service, service.”
Apparently Platinum is (are?) a magical girl (girl+boy+adult woman?) with three souls. If this sounds like something BlazBlue will execute as typical anime bullshit rather than intriguing, resonant characterization, that’s because it is.
I’m just thanking my lucky stars I didn’t see any Platinum-centric fanservice, AKA footage of Platinum getting sexualized, so that’s…that’s a bare-minimum point in their favor… Still, when your character’s souls are a boring boy, a boring girl, and a plot-relevant, legendary woman, who might actually be exciting if she ever fronted. I played some of Platinum’s cutscenes and they were dry as bones. Their interplay with the cast boiled down to scenarios like, “What!? I can’t go to the hot springs! I’m a (boy/girl/woman in girl body)!”
Now, in light of recent fighting game events (including within BlazBlue’s own canon with Mai Natsume), I wish that better writing could turn Platinum into okay representation for…something. Anything?
It doesn’t have to be gender nonconformity or fluidity, even though I’m into that for obvious reasons. What about pluralism and the idea that people can have fluid senses of self or selves without being considered mentally unstable? Can we get that, maybe?
But the bigger question is, why did I have to glom onto this useless bonus side character?
Oh well. I guess that’s why we’re supposed to “make our own…”
(and speaking of making your own, why not check out my review of Four Against Darkness, a tabletop dungeon crawler? Or my #hottake on the meaning of pretentiousness?)